Canada is our stage


Over the past 15 years, the National Arts Centre has grown into a thriving arts organization that is committed to supporting and championing artists from every part of Canada. We have worked hard — through our programming, our partnerships, our educational programs, our focus on artistic creation, and on our entrepreneurial outreach — to fulfill our national role.

Our new Strategic Plan, Canada Is Our Stage 2015 ‒ 2020, includes a number of initiatives that we believe will help us more effectively work with other arts organizations to build a national stage for the performing arts across Canada.

A game-changing emphasis on Canadian creation to help artists and arts organizations across Canada create ambitious new work for national and international audiences

We will invest in research and development, workshopping and residencies of significant new works in music, dance and theatre. We will also invest in new work that has had a first run, but that needs to go “back into the lab” before it can be remounted and showcased successfully. The NAC Foundation is committed to generating a level of fundraising that we hope will pave the way for a new model of creation in this country. We believe that by providing Canadian artists and arts organizations with a source of venture capital or “risk’ money, they will have a far better chance at producing compelling new work that will resonate with national and international audiences.

Recent creation projects: The Cycle: Theatre R & D in Canada | Dance Co-productions | English Theatre Collaborations | NACO Commissions: A Life Reflected 

The historic development of a new Department of Indigenous Theatre

In 2017, the NAC will appoint its first-ever Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre. And in 2019 – the year of the NAC’s 50th anniversary – the NAC will launch its first full season of Indigenous Theatre. This initiative builds on the relationships we have developed over the past decade with Indigenous artists and arts organizations in English Theatre, our Music Alive Program and our national Scene festivals.

The expansion of our Music Alive Program to schools and communities in Atlantic Canada

Our Music Alive Program, which sends local teaching musicians to mostly rural and remote schools in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut, has now reached more than 105,000 students, teachers and community members across Canada. Over the next five years, we will partner with classroom teachers, arts specialists and teaching artists across Atlantic Canada to extend the Music Alive Program to the four Atlantic provinces.

Shepherding the architectural rejuvenation of the NAC

Through the Architectural Rejuvenation of the NAC, we will finally embrace the Nation’s Capital and welcome patrons with a magnificent glass entrance and breathtaking new public spaces. We will animate these spaces with a wide range of community engagement activities from morning to night. The new National Arts Centre will be as much a community centre as it is a performing arts centre.

Becoming just as national in French as we are in English by renewing our commitment to Francophone artists, arts organizations and audiences

While the NAC has played a much larger role in English Canada over the past 15 years, the NAC recognizes it needs to play a more important role in the lives of Francophones in the National Capital Region, in Quebec, and across the country. Over the next five years, we will work to become just as national in French Canada as we are in English Canada.

Committed to showcasing Francophone artistsThéâtre français | Zones théâtrales | NAC Presents - Francophone musicians | NAC Orchestra | NAC DanceScene festivals

Re-creating the NAC’s arts education website as a cutting-edge digital learning platform

We will recreate our award-winning arts education website as a cutting-edge digital learning platform, filling a critical need for high-quality digital arts material that can be used in classrooms across Canada. This platform will also become the go-to place not only for students and teachers, but for performing arts lovers everywhere.

We are committed to working with artists and arts organizations across the country to enhance the performing arts in Canada. Read our Strategic Plan to learn more about the many exciting initiatives that the NAC will be undertaking over the next five years.


Download the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan